19:37 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Viktor Bout case (18)
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    The disciplinary proceedings against Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who is currently serving a prison sentence in the United States, over an interview he did with the RT broadcaster are not "an accident," Alla Bout, the wife of the businessman, told RT in an interview published Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Bout, serving 25 years in prison on charges he claims to be innocent of, is facing the possibility of more jail time or return to solitary confinement over an interview he gave to an RT journalist who was not on the list of approved contacts.

    "I don't know about the US nationals [whether they are treated the same]. As for Viktor, this is far from the first time this happens. Sometimes it looks like a provocation, and their decisions seem biased… Of course, there are no accidents. One may look at it in the context of the overall political situation and the context of this interview," the businessman's wife said.

    While she did not know the results of the investigation into her husband's interview, Alla Bout did admit that her husband may have violated prison regulations. However, Mrs. Bout added that neither her nor her husband knew that the interview would be conducted by a correspondent rather than the producer who organized it. She also pointed out that in the past, her husband had faced similar situations with minor transgressions and would receive no warnings of his forthcoming punishments.

    "For example, there was a similar situation in Manhattan, when he had just been transferred there. He hung his towel on some tap, on which, allegedly, you are not supposed to put anything, and he was punished for it as well. But nobody had warned him about that… That is, they came with the decision that was already made, with an accusation," she said.

    According to Mrs. Bout, the legal counsel with the Russian embassy in Washington is aware of the situation, had discussed it with Viktor and had tried to contact the investigators. The lawyers, however, were denied access before the end of the probe.

    Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 in a joint operation between Thai and US authorities, who accused him of conspiring to kill US citizens by allegedly agreeing to supply Colombian rebels with weapons. Moscow said that the case was politicized, and has repeatedly urged Washington to release the Russian citizen.

    Viktor Bout case (18)


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    RT, Alla Bout, Viktor Bout, Russia, United States
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